Dear Nursing Students/Orientees: A Love Note from the Preceptor from Hell - page 3

by CheesePotato 34,776 Views | 118 Comments

Warning: The following post is rife with brutal honesty and frustration. Read at your own risk. Memorandum from the desk of Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath~~ Dear Nursing Student/Orientee: Allow me to start my... Read More


  1. 16
    a little abrasive I thought, although there were some concepts that are generic to all preceptors. Reducing a student to tears is not acceptable. Your job is not to show how much you know, but to elevate the other person's knowledge. Learning is better achieved in less stressful situations, so if you are stressed at even having the student then you pass that along to them and they endure, but don't learn. Waste of time.
    mharzi, Not_A_Hat_Person, silenced, and 13 others like this.
  2. 15
    Before I left my job in ICU I was offered to "buddy up" with another nurse to improve my nursing. She told me that if I wanted to be a critical care nurse she'll make me into one. She stated and I quote" I will ride your ass" to get you where you need to be. I decided at that moment, this is not the place for me. I don't operate well with people purposely trying to "break me down" to make me into a great nurse. I also don't do well with being coddled and sprinkled with skittles either.

    All I'm asking is for my future preceptor to be professional and respectful just as I am. That is all. No need for tears, extra eyes and ears, and etc.

    Once again, the OP was dead on about some things, but others things said I took with a grain of salt.
    mharzi, chevyv, silenced, and 12 others like this.
  3. 1
    As a New Grad in search of my first job, I can only hope I have a preceptor like you.

    Beautifully written. Your strength and humanity comes through, and I truly appreciate that.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  4. 28
    I'm working on my Master's in Nursing Education for the very reason that *I* had a horrific substandard clinical experience in nursing school and feel a drive to be part of the solution.

    I can understand some reasons why you wrote this. Dealing with student nurses all day would get to anyone. But you really could have made your point in about 10 fewer paragraphs. And honestly, it is WAY over the top. I finally just shut down and laughed at your paragraph describing health care as a jungle of predators or whatever. Come on: lighten up.

    And, frankly, it is exactly this mentality that is part of the problem plaguing nursing these days. This whole old school, break-their-spirit, chew 'em up & spit 'em out boot camp garbage is just embarrassing and outdated. Nursing school doesn't have to be some survival of the fittest death race to glory. It is not the military. I beg you, stop perpetuating negative stereotypes! Express your feelings but be aware of their destructive influence.

    I had good and bad preceptors. The bad had personal issues that had long since become demons bigger and more important to them than their reasons for teaching any more; 6 years later, I look back and can see that's really what the problem was. They were bitter and angry about the healthcare system and took it out on their students. The really awful ones enjoyed doing so, and saw preceptorship as a blood sport. Stupid. All they managed to do was make everyone as miserable as they were. No one learned anything.

    The good ones were relaxed but firm, kind but stern, supportive but not coddling, realistic but not threatening. They treated me like a human being, not an enlisted soldier. They had a sense of humor. They didn't think or behave like paranoid, predatory prowlers with a chip on their shoulder. They were just people who shared their knowledge and acted as mentors and that was IT. No overthinking it beyond that. They also seemed to be less "over involved" in the job and had healthy lives and interests outside of work.

    You sound like you are up all night licking your chops and plotting your students' demise.

    I know precepting has its frustrations but jeez. You're a terrific writer and I think it would be put to better use on something more constructive and realistic.
    mharzi, janjan1981, chevyv, and 25 others like this.
  5. 1
    Thank you Cheesepotato, awesome post!!! I WANT a preceptor JUST LIKE THIS!!!! I am going to graduating in May and you are just what I love in a preceptor. In nursing school I have gotten a few preceptors which my instructor called "hard" and she thought I was nuts when I requested that person again. I learn best when someone can show me what being a nurse really is and let me know when I screw up, to me, that is how I learn. We don't have to be friends we are here to do a job and I want to do my job the best it can be done!!!
    Last edit by Stormyskier on Dec 4, '12 : Reason: spelling
    CheesePotato likes this.
  6. 1
    Thank you from a prereq student
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  7. 1
    Actually the plume of purple smoke would make you awesome, and would make you a star. Just say'in. Try to work it in somewhere if you can.
    CheesePotato likes this.
  8. 2
    geez some of you people get offended so easily....she's ranting, let her rant. We've all had bad days before and we've all had things we feel strongly about.
    MedChica and CheesePotato like this.
  9. 13
    Such a long post for something that should be so much simpler. Treat your orientee as you want to be treated. They are your colleague, not your dinner, or infant.

    Granted, I'm a bit cynical after having two horrid preceptors. One just frustrated with the heavy workload plus a student. The other (and her 1 year post new grad RN coworkers) got a rise out of throwing me under the bus and watching me struggle. Watching - not guiding, not advising, not helping. Waste of the patient's/corporation's money.

    I've also had three great preceptors. One who set me loose, yet provided kind oversight and praise for critical thinking skills. Another for being a tremendous resource and didn't let me slip up during orientation. And the other for providing positive feedback balanced with constructive criticism.

    And for those of you who think or are in a situation where healthcare is a blood sucking, back stabbing world - it is not like that everywhere. Better places may be harder to find, but they are there!!
    mharzi, Not_A_Hat_Person, silenced, and 10 others like this.
  10. 2
    Wow! Beautiful.
    CheesePotato and Wise Woman RN like this.


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